Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo state has restrained traditional rulers from speaking the English language at public functions in the communities of the state.
According to him, all monarchs in Imo State must speak the indigenous language at functions and conduct activities in their palaces in Igbo.
The governor gave the order on Tuesday, July 11, during the handing over ceremony of the staff of office and certificate of recognition to 19 monarchs at the Government House, Owerri, Daily Sun reports.
Okorocha also called on the traditional rulers to promote peace, progress, and prosperity rather than causing a division and disunity in their respective community. He warned that any Monarch who couldn’t show genuine leadership in his autonomous Community stands the risk of having his Certificate of Recognition and Staff of Office withdrawn.
“Today, history is made that light has come and darkness would not comprehend at all. The truth has surfaced and the right people have finally become the Custodian of the traditional right of their people. You are not permitted to speak English at functions. This will help keep our Culture and Igbo language alive”.
“For many years now, most of you have been looking for a day like this. Some of you were victims of injustice and never believed that this could be possible and most of you have been waiting without knowing your fate. But today, it is a manifest of truth that your people have chosen you, and the government of Imo State has approved”.
He further stated:
“I took the bold step of reconciling people, took the step to ensure that truth came to be and voided the rancour that has existed in our various communities over ezeship title. This has equally affected the Community Government Council (CGC) negatively because every community requires an Eze to function effectively as the head of the Community Government Council.
“Today, that responsibility has fallen on you, I urge you not to fail as failure is not an option. I encourage you to help the government in developing the resources of our land as posterity will only remember you for your positive contributions in the development of your community and not in how much wealth you enmassed as an eze”.
“Remember that to whom much is given much is expected. This whole exercise you must understand is not an election or appointment to enable you distinguish between those who love you and those who hate you.
Today, you are an Eze, and you must be the Eze for everyone both those against you and those who were for you. I advise you to take all of them along and embrace peace. Your first assignment should be to invite those who were against you to make peace in your land as no Eze can function effectively if there is no peace in your land.
“Today, you join several Ezes in the Communities of Imo State. You are now addressed as royal fathers and members of Imo State Traditional Council which its right is given to you until death, unless you act in such a manner that you are found wanting before the members of this society.
“The essence of Ezeship is not in the title of being called HRM or HRH, it’s in what you have been able to do to change your society for good. You have to understand that you have enormous responsibilities, Ezeship is not an easy job, it attracts enmity and takes all your time”.
Reacting to the Governor’s new order, Eze Lucky Ajoku of Ihiagwa Autonomous Community, described the governor as an apostle of good conscience and equity and promised that they will embrace peace and help the government attain the lofty ideals of the Community Government Councils in their various communities.